In theory, I should feel like I am slowly but surely inching my way towards having this whole NY Bar thing under some semblance of control (See all those qualifiers right there? That would be because I am INSANELY superstitious about these things and am terrified of jinxing myself). And it seems like, in theory, some things are clicking (You need physical injury for negligent infliction of emotional harm! Every dog gets one bite! etc. etc.).

Today I did a big chunk of practice questions. The thing about Bar.Bri/the bar is that they tell you to aim for being mediocre because that’s all you really need to pass. Which, fair enough. Each set for each subject area was 36 questions (the multi.state exam tests on six subject areas: Con. Law, Contracts, Crim. Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts) and Bar.Bri is happy if you get between 16 and 18 right in each section. My breakdown was: Con. Law: 20 right, Contracts: 14 rights, Crim. Law: 14 rights, Evidence: 23 right, Real Property: 26 right, and Torts: 22 right. Which is all very well and good, except normally Contracts and Crim. Law are my strongest (everything is relative here) subjects and that, coupled with the fact that I feel like I’m just kind of guessing/going with my gut about 90% of the time, leads me to believe that everything thus far is just a fluke and in no way reflects how I’m going to do on the real thing.

And I HAVE to pass the real thing. If you are not up on the legal hiring market these days, let me tell you that it is essentially the same as the job market everywhere, meaning, it sucks due to the economy. So I am very lucky because I have a job, but that job seems rather tenuous these days. And I HAVE to keep my job because I have six figures of debt from law school. It’s ugly.

Some thoughts/words of wisdom for the night before I retreat back into studying: I benefited a lot in going to school where I went to school. Although it gets bashed a lot of ATL (likely for this very reason), the G.town name does carry weight. And that weight translates into (at least in the past – not sure how it is working for current interviewing rising 2L) job opportunities. Maybe G.town is not going to get you the best clerkship in the world, but in the BigLaw world it gets a lot of respect that other schools don’t. I had 11 job offers from really good firms (not the BEST, but close) when I did EIW. One of the boyfriend’s friends went to American. He was my year. He was Law Review, top 5% of his class (I was not either one of those things). He had no offers. Did comparatively deserve my offers? Probably not. Life is not fair.

That said, was G.town worth it? I have a RIDICULOUS amount of debt – debt that will take me at least 5 years to pay off (I am very lucky in that I have no undergrad debt – thanks mom and dad!). What’s frustrating about the amount of debt that I have is that there is really nothing I could have done to make it less. I worked my first year of law school and went to school at night. Certainly I could have kept doing that, but in the long run, I decided that it would be more practical to graduate in three years instead of four. Because I worked for G.town, I did get a tuition break, (although I was taxed at 40% on that tuition break, so it’s not as good of a deal as it sounds), and my living expenses were pretty much covered. I lived very reasonably throughout law school and definitely stayed on a budget.* And still I have six figures of debt, the bulk of which is tuition costs. So while going to G.town definitely helped me get a job, it also ensured that I would need that Big.Law job in order to pay G.town back. Perfect circle right there folks.

So we now end where we started: with a fifi freakout. I have a feeling there are going to be many more of these over the next 2 weeks.

*You may be wondering about scholarships. That is where going to somewhere like UVA would have been a better choice. First off, G.town does not offer any grants (scholarships) based on merit, everything is need-based. In order to apply for this aid, no matter what your living situation (you could be married and have your own kids), you have to submit your parents’ (including stepparents and non-custodial parents, as per the G.town website) financial information and that information is then factored into the calculations. So even though I was completely independent/supporting myself when I applied to law school, my parents make enough money that I was closed out of being eligible for any grants. Second, these grants are not available to part-time students.

In contrast, the boyfriend got over $10,000 a year from UVA just for being smart and doing well on the LSATs. Cost of living was also much cheaper in Charlottesville and UVA tuition was less as well. I decided to stay at G.town mostly because I thought I wanted to keep working, but in retrospect, going to another school or  even transferring probably would have been a better choice financially.